Matt Barnes: Ohtani is the most physically gifted player I've ever seen
Boston Red Sox closer Matt Barnes blew his first save of the season when Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit an eventual game-winning home run off him in the ninth inning on Sunday.
Despite being saddled with the loss, Barnes heavily praised the man who took him deep.
"I personally think he's the most physically gifted baseball player I've ever seen," Barnes said, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. "He's a special player. He's incredibly talented. Hopefully he stays healthy and has a long career."
Barnes entered Sunday with a 1.89 ERA, 0.47 WHIP, and he had converted all nine of his save opportunities. With Boston nursing a one-run lead, he promptly recorded the first two outs in the ninth inning before Mike Trout singled to bring Ohtani to the dish.
Then this happened:
Ohtani said postgame it was the biggest homer of his MLB career, according to Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
The dinger is just the second home run Barnes has allowed over 20 1/3 innings this season.
Meanwhile, Ohtani is now tied for the MLB lead in round-trippers at 12. He's batting .262/.304/.597 and has driven in 29 runs over 158 plate appearances, all while also registering a 2.10 ERA over five starts as a pitcher.
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